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The Clatskanie Chess Club was established in June of 2000.  We are a 501c3 nonprofit corporation with tax deductible status.  Donations made to our club are tax deductible.  We are an affiliate of the United States Chess Federation and hold scholastic NWSRS rated, USCF rated, and unrated Bughouse & Blitz tournaments.
Competing in chess can be a lot of fun, but the growth in self-confidence, team spirit and problem solving abilities in our chess players has been tremendous!  Playing chess on a regular basis teaches perseverance, good sportsmanship and it's a great way to make friends all over the world.  The language of chess is universal. 
Over 700 students in Clatskanie play chess and many have received local, state, regional, national and worldwide recognition for the quality of their play.  In the 2001/2002 competitive season (our first competitive year) we earned 35 medals and 46 trophies, including fifteen 1st place trophies and an individual USCF elementary level national championship trophy.  In 2005 our Varsity Team earned 1st place in the Oregon High School Chess Team Championship, we had a national 'HB Championship' award winner, the Oregon state Denker representative, a student on the USCF top 100 players in the nation list and have expert level players.  In 2009 we have two state champions and 10 Oregon State All Stars in our ranks!
The following is a list of our most frequently asked questions.  If you don't find what you're looking for, write to us for additional information:
  • Membership
  • Meetings
  • Etiquette
  • Training Program
  • USCF Membership
  • Competitive Chess
  • Tournaments
  • Ratings
  • Chess Equipment
  • Email List
  • Website
  • Parent Involvement
  • Fundraising
  • Sponsors
  • Future Plans


Membership in our club is FREE!  If you have an interest in the game of chess as a beginner, expert, (or somewhere in between) we encourage you to join our merry band of chess enthusiasts. 
Please note...membership in our club is a privilege not a right.  The Clatskanie Chess Club holds it's members to a high standard of good sportsmanship, honor and integrity.  Members who have difficulties meeting these high standards will follow the three strikes and you're out plan (which was developed by and will be implemented by our student members in what they call "chess court"). 
Strike 1: Loss of points. 
Strike 2: Suspension from chess club.
Strike 3: Expulsion.
Our regular meetings are open to anyone interested in  chess.  Players can drop in for a quick game or stay the entire time.  The focus is on fun and play.  For those interested in a challenge, you can attend the advanced chess class, which is open to squire level and above. 
Private lessons are available upon request.  Contact Mike Taylor, to schedule your lesson today.  Mike also tutors students in math as well. He is a math major at Portland State University and a teacher's assistant, in math, at Lower Columbia College.
Chess has it's own rules of etiquette.  Click on the link to learn more about Chess Etiquette
Our training program consists of weekly lessons, online training with coaches from around the world, chess tactics practice, chess magnet school and games on ICC or
Lessons:  Our beginning and intermediate students work with our more advanced players on their chess knowledge.  Advanced students study with masters from all over the world, thanks to a grant from the Verizon Foundation.   

Our Curriculum:  One-on-one chess instruction is available every week.  We also provide group learning activities.  Our students train on our computers with Chessmaster, Convekta & Fritz at the clubhouse.  Parents should set aside time each week for their children to play or practice chess.  Contact Kate to find out the software we recommend for training.
Point/Promotion System: We are currently using a point system to motivate and encourage our students to perform activities that will improve their games.  For more information visit Points & Promotions.  When a student reaches squire level or above, they have shown a dedication and/or talent for chess.  Parents need to set time aside each week for their child to work on their chess development.  Ask Kate for ways that you can help your child!
Lettering in Chess: High School players can work on lettering in chess.  For additional information, visit Points, Promotions & Letters
Chess Software:  Our students primarily use Chessmaster, Convekta and/or Fritz.  This excellent training/playing software is available online (new or used) at .  Students interested in improving their games should spend time each week on computer (we also have computers available at chess club).  Games can be printed out and reviewed at chess club with one of the advanced players or with one of our coaches through video conferencing. 
Lending Library:  We have a lending library of books available to students.  The lending list is available on the yahoogroups website: Go to the Club's Yahoogroups database to find a list of some of the chess books we have.  Please feel free to add your books to the database and we'll share our resources!  If you'd like to borrow one of the books, just get in touch with the owner and make arrangements to pick it up.  Library books are also listed in the Lending Library.
Internet Chess:  Students are encouraged to play on the free internet chess server  or join the Internet Chess Club  to play games online with serious players from around the world.  Games can be printed for review with advanced players.  Membership on freechess is free, membership on ICC for students is $26/year.  ICC members come from virtually every country.  They are a great group of people!  To learn more click this link: Internet Chess Club (ICC) Help Page 

Club guidelines for online play: 

  • Play rated games against players at least 100 points higher than you. 
  • Play at least one game every day. 
  • Bring at least one game each week for review, two or more are  even better.    It's best to bring a game you struggled with and lost so that we can see where you need assistance. 
  • No Draws accepted or offered unless there is insufficient mating material on both sides.
Our club is an affiliate of the United States Chess Federation (USCF). Individual membership is not required.  If a club member is interested in competitive chess, they will eventually be required to join USCF.  The cost is $13-25/year and includes a subscription to Chess Life Magazine.  For more information
click here to visit the United States Chess Federation website.
Club members have the opportunity to compete in local, state, regional, national and international events.  There are several different formats for tournaments, but the most popular is the 5-round Swiss.  Every player plays every round.   
Scholastic tournaments usually last from 6-7 hours with each round lasting 60 minutes.  Players play in every round (there's no elimination).  Trophies and medals are awarded at the end of the day.  Most of the tournaments we participate in are not USCF certified and therefore do not require USCF membership (we'll let you know which tournaments are USCF certified). 
Open tournaments are open to everyone (children and adults) with games lasting from 1-4 hours each.  These tournaments generally last 8 hours or more and some last for 2-3 days.  National and International events can last 5-10 days!  The preferred format for open tournaments is Swiss, but you'll also find Round Robins as well (where players are in small groups and everyone plays everyone else).
Notices of upcoming tournaments are available on our website and via our email loop or visit .  Entry fees for tournaments are typically $10-20.  Players should bring a bag lunch and snacks for the day.  Some scholastic tournaments offer concessions, we'll let you know in advance how each one is set up. 
One important note:  Competitors are strongly advised to avoid sugar of any kind during a tournament.  Studies have shown the adverse effects that sugar has on concentration and problem solving.  Parents, please do not send sugary drinks or snacks with your children.  Orange juice, water and fruit are best.  Typically, our kids bring sub sandwiches, fruit and chips for lunch.
Local Tournaments:  Our club holds tournaments here in Clatskanie throughout the year.  Local tournaments are a great way for novices to learn the ins and outs of competitive chess.  This is a fundraising event for our club and all active members are encouraged to attend.  Parent volunteers help with concessions, setup up and take down, recording results, etc.  No special knowledge of chess is required.  Entry fees for our tournaments vary from $10-20.  Scholarships are available for club members who need financial assistance.  Just ask.  For a list of our upcoming events go to: TOURNAMENT INFORMATION
Regional Tournaments:  During the months of October through April, our club attends tournaments from Seattle WA to Coquille OR and lots of places in between.  There are usually tournaments every Saturday.  Parents decide how often their children will participate.  For a list of upcoming tournaments in our region go to:    For more information on tournaments visit our web page:  Tournaments - How They Work
State Tournaments are held in March and April.  Cost for participation varies, but is usually $25.  For more information on qualification for these events, visit the following websites:
Scholastic Nationals:  USCF national tournaments are held each year in December and April.  The December tournament is divided by grade level.  Opportunities for trophies are best during this national event and all divisions play at the same location.  The tournaments in April are grouped by division:  Elementary, Jr. High and High School.  Each tournament is held in a different location, except every 4 years when they hold a "Super Nationals" and everyone plays in the same location. 
National scholastic events last 4 days and run Thursday through Sunday.  Anyone may attend a national event, there are no qualifying requirements.  For more information about national tournaments click here to visit the USCF website.
Club members who help raise funds to attend national tournaments, may qualify to receive financial support to attend the event.  To find out more about how money is distributed, visit this webpage Nationals Funds Qualifications/Disbursement

Chess ratings are a great way to chart progress as players develop their chess playing skills. 
The Chessmaster computer program offers beginning students the ability to play "rated" games on it's system, which gives them an idea of their current playing strength.  Convekta software also offers players a way to track their tactical progress.
Scholastic players who compete in tournaments and/or play rated games at the club, will receive a rating from the Northwest Scolastic Rating System (tournament directors send in the results to the Oregon or Washington rating coordinators).  Ratings are published online website.  There are no membership fees or dues for this service.  It's free for all players! 
The United States Chess Federation rates officially sanctioned events.  Players who attend USCF events are required to join this organization and membership fees vary from $13-50/year. 
The club provides all equipment necessary for the meetings.  If your child would like to compete in tournaments, the only necessary equipment at first is a notation pad and pencil.  Later on, you might consider purchasing a tournament quality chess set, clock and carrying bag ($40-$80).  The club sells chess equipment as a fundraiser.  Ask Kate for more information.
Most of what happens at the club is communicated and discussed on our email list on yahoogroups (Clatskanie Chess Club).  To request additional information or to join our email group,
click here
Our tournament results, photos, upcoming events, etc. are listed on our website  CLATSKANIE CHESS CLUB 
Parents help out at meetings with crowd control, setting up puzzles, act as checkmate victims, set up and clean up.  Tournament volunteers, fundraising events, carpooling to tournaments are other ways in which parents help out.  Providing your child with time to practice chess away from the club meetings by playing chess online, offering to be a checkmate victim or encourating your child to practice tactics on computer are ways you can help your child improve at chess.   
We hold various fundraising events throughout the year to maintain the club, purchase point rewards, training tools, help pay for state entry fees and consumable supplies.  

Past Fundraising Events:  Tupperware sales, bake sales, car washes, candy sales, magazine sales, quilt raffles and we sell chess equipment.
Our sponsors helped us to get started and continue to support our endeavors in so many ways! We appreciate all they do!  A great way to help sponsor our club, is to make a donation through your employer during the United Way campaign.  Visit this page to see our SPONSORS
We are currently in the fundraising mode, planning for next year and the national competitions.  
Still have more questions?  Write to us!

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